They had just arrived at the hotel room they were going to stay for the next few weeks.
Australia, Hermione found out, had an intense summer heat even in the middle of October. Of course she was only used to England summer and knew it was much different from Australia’s, but Brisbane was beyond her expectations.
Ron couldn’t agree more with her. His face was red and sweaty and during the whole cab ride from the airport to the hotel, he had his head placed out of the car’s window, just to feel the wind cooling that heat.
Despise that, Hermione was thrilled she was there. She had waited six months until the Ministry allowed her to go restore her parent’s memories and, as soon as Mr. Weasley told her she could take one person to accompany her, she had no second thoughts on who it would be.
Ron was very happy Hermione trusted him enough to let him go with her, on an adventure as important as that.
They had prepared for one week and now they were there. The hotel was great, the view was beautiful and everything seemed to be going perfectly. The only problem was, when they went to the receptionist to get their keys, they were told there was only one room booked. Apparently, there had been a problem with the system and they would have to share the room.
‘Well, at least it’s not as if we’re totally awkward with each other now’ Hermione kept thinking during their elevator ride until the 19th floor, completely ignoring Ron’s amazement on the experience of being there. ‘We’re together now; there is nothing to feel wrong about.’
Well, there was no need toawkwardness, except neither of them was really sure about what they were. They were together, that was clear enough, but their relationship had no name. Hermione didn’t really mind they weren’t official; she was never one for labels. She wanted to be sure about Ron’s feelings, though. She wanted him to be clear about what he felt and tell her what she wanted to hear. It was obvious to everyone how much he cared about her, the way he looked at her when she came through the door and how he would put a strand of her hair behind her ear when she sat beside him during the meals. Every time he looked into her eyes and held her hands, she wanted to tell him she loved him, but she wanted him to say it first. She needed, craved for him to feel the same.
Soon enough they arrived on their floor and headed to their room.
What was their surprise when they saw not two single beds but a HUGE queen sized one.
Ron could feel his face and ears heating up. Hermione’s hands were wet and neither said anything for good 2 minutes.
“Huh, good thing the couch is pretty big as well, eh?” Ron tried to break the silence, moving into the room and placing his bag on top of the - not so big – couch.
Hermione stayed on the doorstep, she almost couldn’t breathe and her hands were sweaty. She hasn’t even understood what Ron had meant about the couch. The girl kept looking at the bed, pictures running through her head like a movie. She could picture both of them on the bed, lying side by side, facing each other’s faces. She could even feel his calm breath on her face, embracing her. This innocent thought turned into a more rushed and heated one, where they would kiss and touch and laugh and get closer. Hermione could feel her cheeks getting hot and shook her head only to see Ron getting a couple of pillows and a bed sheet and putting them onto the couch.
“What do you think you’re doing?” she asked, already moving towards him and grabbing the pillows, throwing them back onto the bed.
“Huh, I just, eh, I just thought it’d be better if I slept on the couch, you know, so, huh, you could have the bed to yourself and, huh, be more comfortable.”
She knew she shouldn’t, but Hermione couldn’t help herself but find Ron trying to explain himself an extremely funny situation. She could tell he thought he had done something wrong and now she was scolding him because of that. He really was afraid she’d be mad at him. She didn’t want that.
She took his hands on hers, making him release the sheet and hold her hands too.
“I’m sorry I made you feel as if you were doing something wrong. I just don’t think that you should sleep on the couch when there is a bed where we both could fit and be comfortable.” She looked expectantly at him, hoping he wouldn’t feel pressured nor uncomfortable with her saying that it would be alright if they slept on the same bed.
Actually, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done that.
Right after the Battle of Hogwarts was over, when they went to the Gryffindor Tower to take a shower and sleep, Ron had asked her if it would be okay if she slept there in the Boy’s Dormitory. She had asked why (she was about to ask if she could stay there with them) and he only said that she would make it easier for him to fight away his nightmares. Hermione had smiled and said she would be of greater aid if she could hug him while he slept. His eyes were open wide but, eventually he said ‘Thank you. I’d appreciate that.’
Hermione was still looking at him when he gave a small smile and answered her.
“You don’t need to do this, you know. I’ll be alright on the couch.”
Hermione was disappointed. Was he being overly polite or he just didn’t want to sleep next to her?
“Ron, I’m not doing this out of politeness. I want you to sleep there with me.”
There, she said it.
Ron stopped smiling and had a serious look on his face.
“I just don’t want us to be awkward.” He said, touching her face and then stroking her cheek.
The girl smiled and put her hand on his, looking into his blue eyes.
“It won’t be awkward. We’ve done this already, right? There is nothing for us to worry about.”
She then kissed his palm after receiving a nod from him.
They decided to go to the hotel restaurant, for they hadn’t eaten anything in the past 7 hours. There, they got to the conclusion it would be better if they waited until the next day for them to go find her parents. Hermione seemed fine with that plan, but Ron could notice how eager she was to get out of the building and run downtown. During their meal, she would bite her lips and close her hands into fists, maybe to mask how sweaty they were.
“Hermione” Ron started, moving his left hand towards her and grabbing her right one “it’s okay. You don’t need to get nervous. We know where they are, right? We just need to go there. And then we get there and you restore their memories. But to do this, you need to be calm and rested, don’t you think?”
Where was she when he turned from that lazy and insensitive boy into this amazing and sweet young man?
She only nodded and smiled a bit, just to assure him she was fine. She truly was, actually, but there was still a strange thing inside her, calling for her family. She wouldn’t let that spoil her evening, though. She was there with Ron having an amazing dinner and she wanted things to be perfect, so she engaged on a conversation about what they could do after her parents were okay and, if Merlin helped, had understood her reasons for doing what she did. They would be in Brisbane for one week and, probably, there would be time for them to sight see and wander through the city.
Their evening was very pleasant and the talking was refreshing. It was almost ten when they went back to their room. Ron said he would take a shower and Hermione took the chance to arrange their things on the closet.
She arrayed her clothes on the first part of the closet and, before she started with Ron’s, she asked him if it was okay if she put his things on the drawers. She heard him yelling from the bathroom that she could do whatever she thought was better and then headed to his bag, which was still near the couch.
When she opened it, she was surprised to see every piece of clothing very well organized, bent and clean. Her cheeks got red when she saw his underwear, most of them a warm and strong orange color, some with a hole or two. She laughed a little and turned to his socks, deciding to start from there.
She got some pairs and placed them on one of the drawers. When she picked what she assumed was another pair, she noticed it was just one sock very tightly rolled around something heavier. She was curious, of course, but she wouldn’t invade his privacy like that, would she?
Hermione was about to place that sock back in the bag for him to finish the job when she listened a noise coming from the bathroom (probably Ron knocking down something) and almost instantly let the sock fall form her hands, making it land open on the bed. She couldn’t help but look.
It was a pouch.
A small, velvet, black pouch.
Slowly, the girl lowered her hand and grabbed it, a curious look on her face. She then undid the tie.
She had never, in her entire life, seen anything more beautiful and delicate than what was inside of it.
The smile on her face soon turned into a look of worry when she didn’t hear the shower anymore.
Quickly, she tied the cloth and rolled the sock around it again, placing them in the bag.
Just as she was getting another pair to put on the drawer, the bathroom’s door opened and with that, the room was filled with a sweet scent of lemon and aftershave.
She turned and started greeting Ron with a big smile, maybe trying to disguise her look of I just found something that I wasn’t supposed to but, instead, was welcomed with his bare torso and wet hair, water drops sliding through his body.
“Huh, I forgot to get my, huh, pajamas.” He explained himself, red on the face, one hand on his hair, throwing water drops everywhere around him.
Hermione was still a little bit overwhelmed but was capable of getting his pajamas and handing them to him. He vanished into the bathroom again and she couldn’t help herself but throw her body on the bed and place her hands on her face, feeling her cheeks heat up.
Soon enough Ron was in the room again, finishing to put his things in the drawer and, Hermione couldn’t help but notice when he got THE sock and placed it cautiously on the back of the drawer, his face still red (she even thought it was redder that before) from that uncomfortable moment.
It was already midnight when they finished unpacking and, still a bit careful, they laid on the bed. They were facing the ceiling and they could hear each other’s heavy breathing. Unexpectedly, Ron moved his left hand and placed it on top of Hermione’s right one, just like he had done during their dinner.
“Tomorrow’s gonna be great, you’ll see.” He said and, squeezing her hand lightly, completed “Good night, ‘Mione.” He then turned to her and closed his eyes.
She smiled even if he couldn’t see and also closed her eyes.
“Good night, Ron.”